Melina Vastola-US PRESSWIRE
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been linked repeatedly to three different cornerbacks in various different mock drafts: Dee Milliner of Alabama, Johnthan Banks of Mississippi State and Xavier Rhodes of Florida State. Today's Scouting Combine results suddenly turned Xavier Rhodes into the most likely player to end up in Tampa this year.
Dee Milliner crushed the combine with unofficial times of 4.31 and 4.37 in the 40-yard dash, showing off the speed to hang with faster receivers down the field -- one of the few question marks left for Milliner. This likely puts him out of reach of the Buccaneers, who were unlikely to see him fall to the 13th overall pick in the first place. Milliner cemented his place as the best cornerback in the draft, and he will probably be a top five pick once all is said and done.
The same cannot be said for Johnthan Banks, who was battling Xavier Rhodes for the right to be called the second-best cornerback in the draft. Banks disappointed, though, running unofficial times of just 4.59 and 4.64 in the 40-yard dash. It was questionable whether he was good enough to be a top 15 pick based on his game tape, and this performance won't help him. The Bucs put more stock in game tape than in workouts, but it still seems unlikely that he will be their selection in the first round. A fall to the second round suddenly became a possibility, though, so perhaps he'll be there then.
Meanwhile, the big, physical Xavier Rhodes just put himself firmly into the conversation with very impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.41 seconds, twice (both unofficial). Rhodes is big, at 6-2 210 lbs. and very physical, although he is still a bit raw in his coverage ability. With a monster vertical jump of 40.5 inches added to his already impressive workout, size and tape, he is likely to go in the first round -- and I'd go as far as calling his selection by the Buccaneers exceedingly likely at this point.